Protein ‘can help women maintain muscle mass’

Protein is necessary for muscle massWomen who are looking to shed excess weight without losing muscle tone should concentrate on getting enough protein in their daily diet, an expert has suggested.

Writing on the Kansas City infoZine, dietician Karen Collins describes how multiple studies have found that female dieters tend to lose muscle as they lose weight, even if they are exercising.

The key to maintaining lean muscle tissue is to consume a high amount of protein, she suggests. Ideally, this diet would be combined with a strength-training routine to maximize results.

Additionally, Collins says that some people – such as elderly people and the overweight – may need more protein than younger people and those of a normal weight. But she cautions people who have kidney or liver problems to speak with their doctor before increasing their protein intake.

Many people think of protein as something derived from meat – however, you can also take nutritional supplements or eat a mainly plant-based diet and meet your recommended daily allowance.

Vegetarian foods that are high in protein include chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, brown rice, millet, seeds and nuts – among many others.